The girls lacrosse team rallied from a five goal deficit to defeat the Blair Blazers, 12-9, in their season and home opening game on Mar. 22.
Goalie and co-captain Hannah Nowack started the game with an amazing save by tipping the ball just enough to carry it over the net and out of play. However, the Blazers persisted and held the ball in the Viking zone for the majority of the first half.
A Blazer attacker cut through the middle of the field and shot the ball past Nowack for an early 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game.
The Vikings played good defense but could not get the ball out of their zone. The Blazers continued to apply heavy offensive pressure and scored four goals in just five minutes of play.
With 10 minutes remaining in the first half, attacker Clara Schneider received a pass from midfielder Haley Johnson and put it in the back of the net to put the score at 5-1.
Although the Blazers responded with yet another goal that made the score 6-1, attacker Clair Block crossed in front of the net and shot across her body to beat the Blazer goalie. Defender Shruti Gujaran made a steal late in the half that prompted an attacking chance.
The Lady Vikes cashed in on their opportunity created by Gujaran and Schneider scored her second goal on the night. The Vikings entered halftime with momentum, but were down 6-3.
Midfielder Sarah Backenstoe utilized her speed to motor past the Blazer defense and shoot the ball into the back of the net for the team’s fourth goal to start the second half.
Almost instantly the Blazers scored a goal of their own to put the score up to 7-4. However, Schneider ripped another shot past the Blazer goalie and less than 50 seconds later, Backenstoe followed up with another goal in close to cut the deficit to just one goal with over 15 minutes remaining.
Nowack made two crucial back-to-back saves midway through the second half to keep the girls close. Despite Nowack’s efforts, the Blazers found the back of the net again to put the score at 8-6 with seven minutes to play.
However, the Lady Vikes did not give up and were determined to fight hard. Claire Block was fouled and given a free play.
Block took the ball and ran straight at the Blair goalie and fired a shot past her. Less than 30 seconds after, Schneider had the ball behind the net and passed it to a cutting midfielder Lara White who buried the ball in the upper right corner of the goal to tie the game at eight.
With three and a half minutes left in the game, Backenstoe tore past the Blazer defense once again and shot the ball in the bottom left corner of the net to give the Lady Vikes their first lead of the game. However, just over a minute later, the Blazers tied the game and the teams entered an overtime period.
Halfway into the first half of overtime, midfielder Corinne Lake passed the ball to Schneider, who ripped the ball past the Blair goalie for her fourth goal, giving the Lady Vikes a 10-9 lead. The teams then switched sides.
Claire Block picked up a loose ball in front of the net and scored to seal the Vikings victory. Backenstoe ran the length of the Blair defensive zone and beat every Blazer defender to add one more goal.
“We played really well,” Schneider said. “We cleaned up our game a lot since our pregame scrimmages, especially on the fundamentals, which really boosted our game. We were passing and catching well, hustling and beating the other team to ground balls. But I think what really propelled us was our motivation. Everyone wanted to win and picked up their games.”
The girls hope to start the season 2-0 when they take on the B-CC Barons on the road on Mar. 23.
“I think it was extremely important to win our first game, especially coming from so far behind,” Schneider said. “It gave us a lot of confidence knowing what we are capable of.”